Panda Express and its philanthropic arm, Panda Cares Foundation, announced Project Fortunate, a campaign created to recognize and thank its guests and associates for the contributions they provide to Panda Cares. Now through Giving November 28, Project Fortunate will signify the hope and smiles that are brought to children and communities in need across the country through Panda Express’ in-store donation box program, which has raised more than $61 million because of the generosity of guests since Panda Cares started in 1999.
“Our goal with Project Fortunate is to express our gratitude toward our guests and associates for their selfless contributions to Panda Cares, and remind them that, upon a donation, the sound of the bell ringing within our stores symbolizes our unwavering commitment to enhance the lives of children and communities in need across the country,” says Peggy Cherng, Co-Chair and Co-CEO of Panda Restaurant Group.
Each Panda Express location is home to a Panda Cares in-store donation box, where guests have the opportunity to donate. After a donation, associates ring our bell and give a loud, heartfelt “thank you” to remind guests and show appreciation that each time they put money in the box, they give hope and inspire better lives for underserved children. The in-store bells also symbolize the celebratory bell children ring when they’re able to go home from a stay at Children’s Miracle Network hospitals, one of Panda Cares’ main charitable partners. Through in-store donations and the Associate Giving Program, Panda Cares has raised more than $21.9 million through 2016 for Children’s Miracle Network.
“We are fortunate to have such a strong network of guests and associates who have joined us in our mission to positively impact the communities in which we work and live,” says Dr. Cherng. “Every penny counts when it comes to making a difference and we’re proud to continue supporting our local Panda Express neighborhoods through our in-store donation box program.”
In addition to the Children’s Miracle Network partnership, the millions donated each year by guests and associates gives Panda Cares the ability to provide funding to implement The Leader In Me program in more than 720 elementary schools to enhance students’ life and leadership skills. Donations are also given to communities affected by natural disasters. In 2017, Panda Cares contributed nearly $3.7 million in disaster relief funding following Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.